(Toledo, OH) As I enjoy watching the growing colony of ducks at Foxglove Meadow park, I took my new camera to said municipal recreation area to practice taking photos, and trying to get used to the abundance of confusing buttons and settings.
The group has grown from two pairs in May to a total of 69 ducks that I counted this afternoon.
Neighbors to the park - and duck lovers like me - have taken to providing food for the water fowl.
There is something about the color scheme of Mallards that I find particularly striking; the greys, greens, and browns contrast with the yellow bill and orange feet in an aesthetically-pleasing way.
I am also intrigued with the relative comfort with which Mallards maintain around people. While they can be skittish, these ducks have become fairly acclimated around humans, and it takes a deliberate effort by people to cause Mallards to leave an area.
There is a newcomer to the group, a dark-colored duck with a white patch on its chest. It does not seem to match up with any of the ducks in the bird identification guides I have consulted, and I suspect that it is a hybrid.
Some texts mention that domestic ducks bred for color and taste sometimes reenter the wild, and produce these unusually-marked birds.